Bou 'n Christus gebasseerde roeping vir Afrika

Wat is die Here se wil vir ons vir vandag hier in die Suidpunt
van Afrika? Hoe lyk Sy wil in verskillende omstandighede?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

DRC Presbytery Task group for "Fresh Expressions of Church" and involvement

I attended my first Presbytery meeting in South-Africa. The Presbytery talked about the recent General Synod meeting where a mission identity were decided to be a value for the DRC. "Dutch Reformed Church".
The presbytery talked about "Fresh expressions" of MSM and evaluated that we need to do something like that in Brackenfell. They elected representatives from the four congregations and asked this task group to start a Fresh Expression in Brackenfell. I were asked to help in this initiative.
After two meetings we start to form ideas on how this approach can help the community of Brackenfell. I am the only one in the group that did the training.
I still do not know how this initiative will develope, but I am enthusiastically part of it. I firmly believe that it is a step in the right direction.

New expressions of Church and involvement

"New expressions of Church" is an initiative of MSM (Mission shaped Ministries) from the UK. 

It is an initiative that created 80% of new growth of churches in the UK. The basis of this movement is missional. The church as it exists today, do not manage to get people back to the pews. Even if the church do their work, which they did up to now, very well, they have the potential to reach only a very small portion of the population. Most of the population will not sit in a pew again. Something else is necessary. In Brackenfell we know we have about 300 000 people and in all the christian churches together, there is a membership of about 12 000. Most people are not negative towards christianity, but will not sit on pews on Sundays.

New expressions of Church is giving the church training, not to get people in the Church building, but to go out and reach the people that will not come. It is possible to create an expression of church in the community that looks and functions differently, without giving away the biblical principles of being church. 

MSM worked out a course of 24 modules on subjects like: Prayer, Sacrements, Discipleship, Small groups, etc. I participated in them and found them very useful. I believe that this course will help many churches in South-Africa also. The DRC already included this course on the training of new Reverents. 

Read more about MSM at: http://www.missionshapedministry.org/

I were asked by the MSM South-African group to be part of in their planning and training group for 2014 and also present some of the modules. I believe that I can play a roll in a process to adapt this training for the South-African situation. I believe that this training will help many churches in South-Africa.
This year more than 50 leaders were trained and next year it looks as if more people will be trained.

Friday, September 20, 2013


 After 18 hours drive, I arrive in the much hotter and dryer Pomfret. It is a small town that were founded around a asbestos mine and was firstly built as an minetown with hospital, clubhouse, many residential homes and services. It is situated in the North-West Province near the border of Botswana. The government were forced to help them with free electricity and water for a few days in the week.

After the closure of the mines, the military took it over and build it out with more houses. Early in the 90’s the government used the base to locate the people from 32 bataljon here. They are Portuguese speaking people from Angola who could not be relocated in their own country because of the political situation.

Pomfret is situated within a farm community and because of the climate; farms are big and stretched out. Because of the problem of language and perceptions, the farmers did not employ them. There are no work opportunities and most of them live from disability and other governmental grants. Some of them were displaced to Mafekeng but all of them did not go. Some of the local Shwana speaking people stay in some of the houses. If I remember correctly, there are about 4000 people in the town from which 80% are Angolese and the rest Shwana speaking. Exept for the free electricity and water, there are nearly no services and the sentiment is that the government do not want them there and gave the opportunity to be placed in Mafikeng. There are a school in town from grade one to twelve. There are also 7 denominations in town and they know that they are losing the fight against social degeneration.

Other initiatives are the ECO organization that started a home for orphans where they look after about 14 children. Through them they started an initiative of cultivating vegetables in tunnels, with water from a borehole. This initiative needs still leadership development. They also run more than one feeding house to combat malnutrition in the area. One of their main aims is to expose children to God’s love, Biblical stories and the gospel, using the children themselves in this initiative. There are local women that are involved in preparing the food.

There are also an elderly couple that started with basic theological training using the Nehemiah course and are involved in pre-school training for children. They are supported by a DRC congregation from Bloemfontein and other supporters that visit them for outreaches.

There are also a lady that help with medical support by opening a clinic for treating people and do basic training.

There are not much of maintenance of houses and buildings like the hospital and clubhouse is falling apart. The police destroyed some of the houses in a effort to prevent people from staying there. The community is a problem for the government and the future of this little town and its people is looking bleak. People talk with sentiments about their family in Angola but cannot go back to Angola.

I think that with some help the town can be helped. One of the needs is to have skills training with things like welding, putting up fences and other skills to serve the farms around there. Also training in own production through farming activities like planting and breeding animals.

The biggest need I think, is to work with worldview. If there are no hope for future and the understanding of our responsibility and ownership of own situation, many a project will not be successful. I think of getting involved in supporting the different churches to work together and give Biblical Worldview training and help to start practical consequences of this understanding of reality. There are a few partners that are positive about this and I believe have the potential of being part of a partnership that work with this approach.
My prayer is to know if I need to get involved in visiting about two times a year for about 10 days and facilitate biblical worldview discussions and practical consequences of this way of thinking.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

With Annlin congregation in Mozambique (Mocuba and arround)

I arrived in Mocuba before them and could receive the team there. They are mostly from Annlin DRC congregation from Pretoria, but also some others who joined in.
We had a day of orientation that went very well and the attitude of the team became their great testimony. They decided to serve and learn while talking about christian practical issues. The team divided in two and I joined the one group going to Lugela. They played with the children, did skills with women braiding hair, sharing food and became really intimate. So much so that from both sides, greeting was with a bit of tears. With the leaders from the men women and youth, we talked about Stewardship. They shared with us a few stories through which God were experienced as real and part of their community. The story of Sara and here baby whose life's were saved not only by the previous intervention of the teams of South Africa but clearly because of the grace of God. The others story of a child with skin problems that were helped as well as the testimony of the team that were in the accident. They experienced this accident very emotionally up till today they share the loss with a lot of emotion. The big testimony is because the team did not stop to be involved in Mozambique, but is still visiting and still show love and service. These things opened the hearts of the community on a very special way. Every message is taken seriously. The translator also mentioned that it is the fist place where he see that the children did not take any of the coloring pencils or equipment for themselves. They brought back every pencil.
We applied stewardship on animals, nature, church and marriage. The discussions were very open and they were really exited to understand more of the way God intended life to be. God wants us to develop and wants the church to serve the community and bring truth and light to brokenness. God wants marriages to be honest, joyful, faithful and examples of how He loves the world. etc.
We went back to town for Sunday to wash clothes, church service in town and visiting the Bible school.
On Monday our group visited Mutucua, a new Prayer house in Maganja da Costa district. The road took us over a scary home made bridge deep into the bush. First we had to build relationships after the children fled at the sight of a white man approaching them. The work with youth changed the relationship totally. With the leaders we heard what make them happy and sad. Some of the challenges were the lack of funds for church premises and for building. With stewardship we focused on love as the basis of development. God's love for us reflected to other people. The understanding came that love, not power, humility not position, etc will bring people to the church. The pastor also asked us to talk about the understanding that there are a future. We asked: If we love the community and one another what will happen within a month. They guessed that there will be at least 2 more people in the church. What about 6 months, then a year, then 2 years and then 10 years. They believe that there will then be  many people in the prayer house. With so many people they will be able to buy the land and build the church? One of the consequences of love is development and that will happen with only the resources that God gave them. It depends on God and not on help from outside.
We again talked about marriages and some complained about lazy wives. At the end we agreed that to have a wife that will make you proud, we need to love and serve and that has a very good chance of developing your wife to be someone you are proud of. We also talked about faithfulness and other aspects of marriage relationships that are different than cultural thinking.
The Jesus film again was a hit.

The last day we spent at Magodane congregation. The program was delayed by rain. At the end our meetings there were accepted very well.
We went back to Mocuba and prepared for the next day to start our trip back. We had many experiences on the road, but it went very well. In Inhassoro we stayed for an extra day to talk about our vision for the future, our attitude in giving report to our congregations etc. It went well and we could sort out some practical things for the next outreach. We left there with some ideas to think about.
Bernadette drove down with me to Cape Town and it went well. We give her and her family in the hands of the Lord in the challenges facing them.

With Villiersdorp in Mozambique (Pemba)

The team were organized through the DRC church in VIlliersdorp, with members of other churches also involved. Some were families and we left with four cars.
Driving to Mozambique
On the first day 19th of June, we managed to reach Senekal in the Freestate. We were spoilt by the church people there. Then we continued east to enter Swaziland from the south. On our way we heard that the bridge over the Save river were closed because of political turmoil. So we decided to go through Zimbabwe. We took the road to the north and reached Loskopdam the evening where we camped. One of the team members left us there with a bad back pain. From there we reached the border where we encountered a few challenges. Firstly the Migration people wanted the birth certificates of the children and we did not have all of them. Firstly they did not want us to cross and that was very emotional. We pleaded and continued to explain and then they allowed them. Then we had to stand in the row for 5 hours to get customs clearing.
Pasted after hard work
After that one of the cars were registered on the farms name and they did not have the correct documents. They had to turn around go through all the red tape to get back to RSA. The rest of us continued till Lion and Elephant in Zimbabwe and reached there at midnight. We stayed over there and waited for the other car. At 12 they joined us with great joy. Then we continued and reached the mission station at Morgenster where we stayed from the night. From there it went well, but slow because of the situation of the road, until reaching Pemba. There the one car were fined for not having a chevron on the back. We did not want to pay a bribe and had to be escorted by the police through town to go and pay the fine. I believe that that was a good testimony, because bribes are the common thing. The police thought that these church people are very strange. I got Malaria and had it bad for a few days. Through the outreach I had to recover.
We reached our destination with Johan Dames and started the next day with building the little school and building relationships especially by playing with the children of this Muslim community. The foundation built for the schoo, was not level and we first had to level it and then I again learned a lot about building through the experts in the team. The team managed to build very good relationships and left a very positive image of christianity in the community. On top of that they did the floor with the walls and the pillars of the school by working hand in hand with the local community in a very positive way. From both sides we worked very hard and the community expressed their gratitude throughout the whole process.
We had nice seafood to eat
I left the team a few days early to join the team from Pretoria in Mocuba.

With Strand Congregation in Mozambique

Sunday School training outreach with Strand reformed Church
The first team was actually a very small team. In the last hours we heard that the material we wanted to use on the outreach did not arrive in Milange. Dirkie managed to get the material and we had to divide it between us for the flight to Malawi. We made the weight limit and me and Dirkie flew out to Malawi. Kobus and Nana met us on the airport and we stayed the first night with them. From there we hired the Prado from Milange and went drove to Mocuba with Benjamin, the leader of the youth group of the synod. We met up with another youth leader from Magodane congregation in Mocuba. The first day of training were postponed for a day because of communication problems. It was a group of maybe ten that came for the training and the two youth leaders who did the training, did very well. Me and Dirkie only helped with a few small things. I had to talk about our calling specifically for the youth. They used material for Sunday school and helped the local youth leaders to use it effectively as lessons for Sunday school. The focus is not on only understanding the messages of the Bible, but also to focus on the growth of a relationship with the Lord.
After the training we spent a few days in Mocuba visiting Lugela, Tacuane, Muraba and a new church near Muraba. We listened to trained youth leaders in giving the first lesson to the children and afterwards helped and encouraged them. Some of them surprised us with a lot of initiative and enthusiasm. Benjamin also brought the Jesus film and we showed it in all of these places.
I also had a good talk with the building committee that is responsible for the building of the church building in Mocuba. They are very inexperienced for a project like this, but in general did very well in managing the building. They build the walls up to window level. It is a good partnership where the local congregation is responsible for one part of the work and Strand congregation helps with the rest. It is a nice process that is not finishing a task but is developing people involved.
We also visited Magodane congregation where we also had a day of training whereafter we visited prayer houses to listen to the youth leaders in presenting their first classes. They were very excited and we can see that some of them will do good in creating a system of Sundayschool. Felizardo, the youth leader of Magodane did very well.

On our way back we went with a small bush road to the prayer house of Machina and the people there demonstrated a deep gratitude and enthusiasm. We really enjoyed it. The morning at 4 it started raining so we packed everything and left for Milange. The road was very wet, but we arrived in good time. On the way we shared with one another about the privilege of doing this work, because it also form our own lives in a powerful way.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Relativism and truth

The prophet Isaiah warns, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (5:20)

Taking God out of creation creates a culture of death. Then there is no base for values and everything became relative. The consequence of relativism is death.

We need christians that will be able to live out a life of love in contrast to this relativistic culture.To live out the absolute truth of a good and a real God.

Friday, April 12, 2013


Darrow Miller shared a moment from his lifestory:

One of the milestones in my life was 1969 in L’Abri, Switzerland. Marilyn and I were studying with the Schaeffers. We were living in the home of Udo and Debbie (Schaeffer) Middelmann. One Sunday evening Udo said to me “You know, Christianity is true even if you do not believe it!” These words were a shock to me. In church, in my discipleship program, and in seminary, I had been taught that Christianity was true precisely because I believed it.

After two sleepless nights, I realized what Udo was saying. Christianity is true, even if no one in the world believed it. It is true because God exists! It is true to reality! It was at that moment that I realized that I had a “born again” heart, but my mind had never been born again. I had the mind of an atheistic materialist. If there is no God, there is no truth. All things (including morals and beauty, for example) are relative. Your truth is whatever you choose to believe.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Work towards heaven

Darrow Miller helped me to see something new.

Rev 21:24  The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.

Here the Bible talk about the new earth. Interesting enough the verse talk about kings of the earth. It helped me to understand that what we do here will be part of the new earth. That is why beauty is important. This help me to be motivated to show beauty through art and home. It helps me to understand why it is important to reign well and bring God's Kingdom principles in politics so that it can display His heart towards the world. This is why law needs His righteousness, to live out His Kingdom. Science can stand in awe for what God created and motivate us to know more to serve the world better. So we can continue.....

Darrow ends his article with:
Consider well how you spend your time, how you invest your life. The things you do on earth, for good or ill, count for eternity. What you create in this life that honors God may be transposed, at the end of time, to an adornment in His eternal kingdom.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Visit to Marlow (England)

My visit to Marlow in the United Kingdom was a very busy time and I would like to give you a glimpse in some of the activities I participated in.

We went on a several walks with sometimes only one or two friends and on other occasions we were groups of members from other churches. It was around 0 degrees Celsius on most of the walks but that did not stop us. The walks helped to build relationships and we had good conversations and prayed together for the work in England and in Mozambique.
Our Marlow friends prayed and will pray a lot for the work in Mozambique, for the future of the Taking Hands ministry and for the work in Gods kingdom also in England. They testified that this visit was a blessing for them. It helped them to feel closer to one another and it created a new peak in their enthusiasm for their calling. The visit also cemented our long distance friendship and together we are determined to keep our zeal alive for God and His kingdom.

Talks with other dominations in Marlow and neighboring towns:
In Reading there is a weekly meeting of leaders from many denominations. In the first meeting we had about 35 people and when they were introduced to me, they asked me to speak of the work in Mozambique. I used the time to tell about the challenges of the church to make the Kingdom of God visible. We have many churches but mostly the Kingdom of God is still not visible outside the church. We talked about the challenge of being church but without an influence on the community.
I told them how I and pastor Ualize visited the house of a Lomwe speaking elder. We found him in his garden and helped him for a while before going to his house. There we sat down on small wooden benches about 10 cm high. After greeting and talking about family, he told us about his past. How he dreamed about a man that was convicted and died but was innocent. Later this man rose from the dead. Only years later he discovered through missionaries that this man is Jesus. He dreamed another dream where this man asked him to go to the protestant church. From that time he participated in the church and became an elder, but he do not manage to pray. Firstly I told him how God see our problems and want to help, the way He did it, was to become a human himself. He came to the earth. Today He continues to do that by living in us and as we visit one another we demonstrate His presence to one another. I went and sit before him in the dust and demonstrate how God came to His house not to judge him, but to be with him and to serve us.  So today he may know that God is in his house even closer to him than me sitting before him. I told him what He did to our sins, so we can be free to be near Him. Do not feel afraid or burdened by our sins and weaknesses. Then I told him that we do not have to use good language or beautiful words like some in the church. I asked him if he can talk to me. He replied, yes. I told him that God is in his house like me and that he can talk to Him even in Lomwe, like he talk to his wife and children.
This is a small story to demonstrate to the Lomwe man that God came to his life in his house, this story can be in a business or factory or parliament etc. If God are the reason for what we do, life will be transformed. You change from being a receiver to a giver. You change from looking at membership and buildings to look at a life that serve and change corruption to righteousness, etc. Gods Kingdom is becoming visible in our community. We can’t accept a structural church with a lot of programs but without making His kingdom visible in our communities.
Some of the leaders came back to me to talk more about this challenge and how to help the church to be effective in influencing the community. They were touched by this challenge.
We had a second meeting with more than 40 leaders. I heard about many initiatives of working with people that do not have enough to eat, with prostitutes, with youth and ex-offenders. Furthermore they prayed together and had joint meditations.
Chefs for Jesus and Costa Coffee:
I visited two other interesting programs. One they call “Chefs for Jesus”. They give food and clothes to street people and some members are available to listen to people, evangelize and pray. It was still snowing when I was there, but still there were people coming in, eating and talking. The other program is the initiative of the minister of the Marlow congregation. Richard Becher sits in a coffee shop every Tuesday with a sign that he is ready to listen to people. Some people do come up and talk at this table in the corner of the shop. Richard is also involved in the Hospital Chaplaincy and I had the privilege to visit the Hospital with him.
African Evening:
To put the focus on mission work we also had one evening where the church asked a chef from Kenya to make African food and they had decorated the hall in African cloth. They had invited people from all churches in Marlow and the neighbouring areas to come and 55 people turned up. I spoke about the importance of relationships in mission work. The evening was rounded off by a half hour choir concert of the local school, singing gospel songs. The local paper also reported about this evening.
I  also ran a seminar called “God’s Plan for Us” which was 4 hours long and spread over two evenings. We made a short analysis of the community of Marlow and then talked about the roots that cause the problems of the community. We then talked about the new roots in Christ and how we can grow to be rooted firmly in Him. Then we talk about transformation of communities and how we can create a better future through service. We all walked away with a homework assignment to practice doing small deeds of service.
I preached the Palm Sunday and was given the text of Phil 2 and some verses in Mathew about Jesus on the donkey. We looked at a King who demonstrated His kingdom through service.
Maundy Thursday:
On the Thursday we had a meal together in the church with Holy Communion and meditation. I lead this meeting and talked about the reality of God as the basis of everything. It has a specific liturgy, but I enjoyed this experience. They call it the “Maundy meal” in remembrance of the Lord’s last supper with his disciples. They served traditional food like lamb, unleavened bread and basic vegetables. A part of the service is to wash people’s feet as humble servants, just like Jesus did.

Good Friday:
On Good Friday the Churches together in Marlow arranged a walk through town with a cross. After the walk we met in the park where we praised the Lord together and had a meditation. Then we went to the big Church of England across the road. It is a big building full of symbolism and many graves, candles etc. I was asked to talk about the two murderers that died with Christ and the promise of paradise. I talked about the criminal who could see hope and something special in the life of this man Jesus and how he gave himself to this man in his final hour on the cross. I talked longer than they asked me to, but according to people who were there, God blessed us together. It was a unique experience to talk in one of those old massive churches with a lot of symbols and traditions. I think that church should be about 700 years old.
On Sunday the minister and I jointly performed the church service. I talked about Mary who went to the grave and thought that Jesus was the gardener. How Jesus called her name and demonstrated how He committed Himself to a relationship with us within all our pains and fears. How He brings new hope and future.
Time to see the sights:
There also was some time to be a tourist. One day we went to London and saw Trafalgar Square, Buckingham palace, Big Ben, the London Eye, bridges, Art Museum, travel shop, Science museum and the underground trains. In spite of the cold we bought ice cream. It did not melt! Another day we spent visiting the Queen’s castle in Windsor and heard about its amazing history. On another day I went to Oxford the university town, another town with a huge legacy. We saw the places where they made the Harry Potter films in Christ Church. In the church were names of many South-African towns in the Free State, because in these towns some of their members died during the Boer-war in 1902. 
The radio interview:
One evening I came on a discussion of the local radio station in a program called Faith Matters on Marlow FM 97.5.  Richard Becher was the interviewer and he interviewed me and two other ministers. Between playing Christian music we talked for two hours about discipleship and I shared stories from Mozambique.
Christian men’s night:
One of the highlights was an evening meeting with a group of Christian men. We really shared very honestly about our faith and challenges of the church. The challenges in our days are big challenges, but we also shared about a hope for change much bigger than that. Our God is bigger than our understanding and therefore also bigger than our questions and doubts. We believe that He will bring transformation through us. They confirmed later that they really enjoyed this evening, the Mozambique stories and the challenge to think where the church happens from Monday to Saturday.
All in all, I was blessed and my world became much bigger than before. As my life was enriched, I intend to share myself more and more where ever the Lord will place me next. It is also good to hear that the conversations we started are still continuing. Together we are planning and thinking about the future and believe that it is part of Gods plan, although we do not know how it will look like. Thanks guys!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Agenda for Danie Murray's visit in Marlow

Danie, It is becoming clear to me that we want to learn about your mission and explore how we can shape our own mission better

18-Mar Monday Depart Cape Town
19-Mar Tuesday Arrive Heathrow
20-Mar Wednesday 
   9 am Reflections by the Thames, Sharing
   Easy afternoon, 8pm dinner with "missionaries"
21-Mar Thursday 
   10 am Meet with minister Richard Becher @ his house, Sharing about World view and                                                                                   basics of faith learned from Mozambique
   8pm Talk: Taking Hands in Mozambique @ St. Andrews Sharing about Christians and their challenges in Mozambique
22-Mar Friday 
   9 am Reflections by the Thames
   Boulters Lock, Brewery, Pub lunch
   2 pm Wycliffe, tea at Alison's,
   8pm Dialog: God's plan for us (part 1).
23-Mar Saturday 
   11 am Visit Chefs for Jesus in High Wycombe. Food for the needy
   6:30 pm Dinner: Gospel and Outreach @ Christ Church Outreach principles and discuss how does a small church far away make a difference.
24-Mar Sunday 
   10:30 am Preach to Christ Church Congregation
   2pm Church walk - Marlow Donkey to Bourne End Walking and talking Meet people from another church
25-Mar Monday 
   Spend the day sightseeing in London
   8pm Dialog: God's plan for us (part 2)
26-Mar Tuesday 
   9 am Reflections by the Thames, then Costa Coffee
   7:30-9:00pm Crypt Café - then Marlow FM interview at 9:15 pm Faith and cultures? Young people in Crypt for radio conversation.
27-Mar Wednesday 
   8 am Meet ministers at Grefriars / Hospital Chaplaincy
   8 pm Meet the Wargrave house group in Wargrave Teaching and Challenging
28-Mar Thursday 
   Visit to Windsor castle, tea with the Queen
   7:00 pm Maunday lamb dinner at Christ Church
29-Mar Friday 
   10 am Good Friday Service, inter dominational. 20 min talk Christ as base of mission.
   Meeting friends from Holland
30-Mar Saturday 
   9 am Prayer Breakfast, then Moz 2013 plans @ Christ Church Everyone prays, then open agenda
31-Mar Sunday 
   10:30 am Worship with Christ Church congregation
   Dinner @ George's house
01-Apr Monday 
   9 am Prayers on Winter Hill with CTM, Lunch minister and Elders
   7pm Depart for Heathrow for 9pm flight Martin
02-Apr Tuesday Flying to Capetown

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Future Process of Mission in Mozambique

The blue line on the Graph is the line of visible growth in the IRM in Mozambique. From a few Prayerhouses in 1994, the church grew very quickly till there were about 300 churches. After about 6 years I discovered that the invisible part of Church growth (Green line on Graph) did not grow. It is so easy to have the appearance of Church, but do not have much influence on the culture of the members and community.
People accepted the Lord and after that they were baptised. A lot of my time went in organizing congregations to do administration, organize training for children and youth, studies for leaders and members, elders and deacons, creating the culture of marriages etc. In many places the leaders wanted the pastors to baptise new members and on investigation I often found that they did not understand who Christ is and that they have no personal relationship with God through Christ.
Pastors continued to baptise new members who didn’t have knowledge and experience of faith. The thousands of members came to the church but they also continued with a life based on traditional beliefs. This is the point on the graph with the vertical line. It was a big crisis in my ministry and I struggled for about two years to find a more effective way of ministry. We discovered that to change the visible actions of the church and teach people to help the poor, needy, widows and unevangelized, did not bring the long term transformation. People started doing that work but the results were on a visible level and it did not last. Real lasting transformation happens only when you change a value system. A value system changes only when you work from a new belief system. It starts with the reality of accepting that there is a real Good God and a character that became flesh in Jesus and continue His work through us as His church. In other words, when you know the character of Christ you can start demonstrating this new character through your deeds. This insight not only changed my ministry, it also changed my faith.

On the graph the emphasis of my ministry changed towards the green line, the foundation or worldview. On this foundation you can build your understanding of church and community, calling and destination. Changing the focus of my work on this level resulted in more personal contact and focussed training through conferences. Listening is a very important part of it. Later the IRM Tumbine synod decided to use the conferences as their main tool in this faith growing process. They also asked me to continue to support pastors and help congregations with strategic thinking and planning.
I do not want to say that the mission work before the vertical line had no effect, but according to my understanding the ministry became much more effective afterwards.
This process developed through the years. I myself is still in grade one in my learning process, but I belief it as the right direction.  It is a very sensitive process to work with leadership style, working more and more with local Mozambican resources (not depending on outside help), understanding partnerships. It was a challenge to approach the mentality that says “there is no future” or if people live out of the reality of good and bad spirits and depend on them or when leadership is done through power and manipulation or with strong tribalism and many other cultural preconceptions. For sure our Western culture also has its own lies.
To bring the light of the Word as the point of reference is a long and steady process.
God’s Word bring a alternative to many traditional ways. He is giving us a new mentality with good consequences. The green horizontal line represents this process. As you can see on the graph, based on what I have seen, this new process was steadily growing in last years. I could tell you many stories of transformation on this level, that started to influence the visible part of the church.
Future involvement with Mozambique, will not focus on building the visible part of the church, but we will continue the process of working on the invisible, the foundation. Many of your, as supporters, efforts are working towards this process. I am sure that building the foundation is the right thing to do even if the visible part of the church is showing cracks. Transformation on this level is real transformation, not pretence. I can tell you many stories that illustrate this progress, where new Biblical ways of thinking has visible consequences.
The way I see the road to the future for the work of God’s Kingdom in Mozambique, is as follows:
  1. 1.   Continue to focus on building the invisible foundation and don’t be too concerned about the visible decline. As long as we have open doors in Mozambique, we need to continue the good work and demonstrate that our Lord is their friend and saviour.

I am aware that we need to tread carefully in giving materially. Giving without a relationship, mostly have more negative consequences on the process than positive. For a relationship we need to grow in compassion, mutual understanding of our vision (mostly we do not understand our written vision in the same way. There are too many assumptions from different backgrounds), understanding how partnerships function, understanding the values that we are working with and knowing our Good God behind everything. The relationship will not grow automatically. There are some tools to help us give in such a way that it will result in the growth of the relationship with God and therefore also with one another.

  1. 2.  As we became more uncertain about agreements with the Church, I belief that we accept the uncertainty as part of our sacrifices. We will find time to help the church on this aspect. To fight for our interests as we understand it now, will not help the growth of the Church.

I am still available for a few months to think about implementation, to find new approaches and to develop concrete plans in line with building the invisible foundation.

My vision is to see that blue and the green horizontal lines on the graph will soon meet. (The blue line will not decline under the Green line). From there I can see a steady growth. There are still so many opportunities for us to be the representatives of Christ in Mozambique. Our sacrifices are not in vain.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Afskeidsbesoek aan Mosambiek

Die besoek aan Mosambiek was noodsaaklik en ons het in die tyd duidelikheid gekry oor ‘n paar goed. Ek het saamgegaan om te gaan groet. Die Saterdag aand het die dagbestuur van die sinode ons ingewag en verwelkom. Van die begin af het hulle ons hartlik ontvang en ons kon saam met hulle eet. Sondagoggend is ons gevra om die preek in die gemeente waar te neem. Die lot het op my geval, die ander twee het meer ondervinding in oortuiging. In die begin van die diens het ek die dagbestuur eenkant geroep en gevra of ek die gemeente kon groet teen die einde van die diens. Een van hulle wou eers keer, maar die ander drie het dadelik ingestem.

Tydens die diens het ek myself uitgeleef in die boodskap. Op ‘n stadium het ek gevra hoe God se hart lyk teenoor ‘n dronk persoon. Wat sal Hy doen? Die een persoon antwoord toe dat hy hom sal wegjaag. Toe vra ek of daar dalk iemand is wat ‘n dronkaard was en toe na die Here gekom het. Daar staan toe ‘n man op en verduidelik dat hy baie gedrink het. Ek vra hom toe “wat het die Here gedoen en wat was op Sy hart toe jy voor hom gaan staan het?” Hy antwoord toe dat hy vergewe is en dat God genadig is. So het ons baie voorbeelde gehad om te verstaan hoe God se hart lyk en die boodskap is dan dat omdat Hy so is, ons ook so word. Ons word gestuur om soos Hy te wees in die wêreld. Ons word soos hy mense wat dien, vergewe, regeer oor alles en reg te help en die omgewing te herskep. Ons bring God weer nader aan mense soos Jesus dit gedoen het. Ek het dit as ‘n besonderse geleentheid beleef.

Teen die einde van die diens het die moderator opgestaan en dankie gesê vir die werk wat ek deur die jare gedoen het en toe vir my kans gegee om te groet. Dit was emosioneel om die ouderlinge en volwassenes in die kerk te groet. Toe ek daar gekom het was van hulle, die seuntjies wat vreeslik opgewonde was om agter op die bakkie te spring en te gaan help om sand uit die rivier te gaan haal vir die bou van die huis en die kerk. Ek het ‘n paar staaltjies gedeel en dankie gesê vir wat hulle vir ons beteken het, hoe hulle ons opgepas en geleer het hoe dinge in Mosambiek werk ens. Sonder om redes te gee, het ek dan net gesê dat ons tyd om daar te werk, nou verby is.

Die vergaderings waar Herman en Kobus, baie ure met die leiers gespandeer het, het daardie middag begin. Die gesprekke het in ‘n baie goeie gees plaasgevind. Hulle besluite is gerespekteer, maar baie vrae is gevra oor die manier waarop dit gedoen is en ook verduidelik hoeveel implikasies besluite soos hierdie het. Die beëindiging van Handevat  se werk was maar een van ‘n paar drastiese besluite wat geneem is. In Chiconono is ‘n evangelis gevra om sy werk te stop en die drie personeel lede van die geletterdheids kantoor is ook gevra om hulle werk te beëindig. In beide gevalle was dit ook baie nodige handelinge wat bewys dat daar ‘n poging is om verantwoordelheid te neem. Hulle het nie hulle werk gedoen nie en het die motorfietse misbruik ens. Die een persoon wat na hulle terug gekom het en om verskoning gevra het, is op die ou end weer aangestel.

Kobus en Herman het aan my verduidelik dat die leiers om verskoning vra en erken dat hulle nie die sake goed hanteer het nie. Hulle het ook bevestig dat daar niks negatiefs gebeur het wat hulle verhouding met my vertroebel het nie. Van hulle kant af is daar niks wat hulle teen my persoonlik of die werk wat ek gedoen het nie. Hulle het ‘n groot waardering vir die werk en wil graag dat dit moet voort gaan.
Daar is ook ‘n brief opgestel om vir die ondersteuners in RSA te verduidelik wat aangaan. Die brief was baie mooi bewoord, maar het nie baie gesê oor die redes van optredes nie en ook nie die spesifieke gebeure en besluite verduidelik nie. Kobus en Herman het toe saam met hulle die brief aangepas wat toe aanvaar is. Lees die brief by: http://handevat.blogspot.com/2013/01/letter-from-tumbine-synod-to-all.html

Ek was net een keer in die vergadering om die omvang van die tweeling verhoudings tussen gemeentes in Mosambiek en gemeentes in RSA te verduidelik.  Die res van die tyd het ek mense besoek en gegroet. Ek het ook vir Bileam (die motorfietsie) verkoop.
Woensdag oggend is ek na die sinodale gebou om die leiers te gaan groet. Ongelukkig was die ander al weg en het ek net vir Ualize gekry. Ek sê toe dat ek ‘n boodskap het vir hulle en wil graag hê dat hy dit aan die ander moet oordra. Hy gee my toe ‘n stoel en ek sien ‘n diep bekommernis op sy gesig. Ek verduidelik toe dat die besluit wat hulle geneem het, ‘n goeie besluit is. Ek was van ongeveer die jaar 2001 die oudste predikant in die sinode. Ek ken al die gemeentes en ken die geskiedenis van al die streke. Soms gesels ek met dominees en dan praat ek van gemeentes wat hulle glad nie ken nie. Omdat die kultuur nog sukkel met selfbeeld het dit natuurlik veroorsaak dat hulle dikwels in my skaduwee gewerk het en ek het dit nie genoeg raakgesien nie. 

Ek het verder kontak met al die ondersteuners en weet wat orals aangaan. Inligting is mag en alhoewel mens juis verantwoordelikheid en eienaarskap probeer oorgee het, het ek in die pad begin staan van die self realisering van die kerk. Ek verduidelik toe vir hom dat ek dit eerste moes gesien het en daarom vra ek om verskoning. Ek kon op sy gesig ‘n geweldige verligting sien en ons kon ons verhouding weer bevestig. Ons verhouding met mekaar is nie verbreek nie en hy nooi my uit om nie heeltemal uit hulle lewens te verdwyn nie. Ek moet weer besoek.

Hier moes ons meer tyd gehad het om verder te gesels, maar ongelukkig was dit net voor ons vertrek het. Nou eers was die spanning en ongemak gebreek dat mens meer openlik kon gesels. Die situasie was dus vir hulle baie spanningsvol en daarom glo ek is baie besluite onbehope geneem. Ek glo dit is ook die rede hoekom hulle nie ‘n rede kon gee vir die beëindiging van Handevat se werk nie. Ook hoekom hulle nie my nie kom groet het voor hulle geloop het nie. Dit was vir my sleg dat hulle Dinsdagaand vir my sê, dat ons more oggend groet en toe glad nie opdaag om te groet nie.

Wat my rustigheid gee is dat die werk wat tot dusver gedoen is, baie waardevol was en nog vir lank ‘n invloed behoort te hê op die toekoms. Verder ook om te weet dat die besluit reg is ten spyte van die foute wat gemaak is in die manier waarop dit oorgedra is. Ons hele gesin het ‘n rustigheid oor die gebeurtenisse en die lesse wat ons hierdeur leer, is vir ons baie werd. Ons weet ook dat die toekoms aan die Here behoort. Soms is mens bekommerd oor die spesifieke planne vir die toekoms, so as julle iets van die Here hoor, laat weet gerus!

Met die gebeure is dit dalk tog moontlik dat daar weer 'n rol op 'n ander vlak, in Mosambiek kan ontwikkel! Alhoewel dit nie so is nie, sien die kerk my as 'n pa. Indien die pa se kinders kinders het, mag die oupa nie meer inmeng in die manier waarop kinders groot gemaak word nie, maar die oupa het nog 'n rol. Met die spanning wat gebreek is, is dit dalk moontlik. Dit is net nou baie belangrik dat, in so 'n geval, dit 'n inisiatief van Mosambiek moet wees.

Letter from Tumbine synod to all supporters

Igreja Reformada Em Moçambique

Fundada em 1908 em Mphatso
, Angónia-Província de Tete
C.P. 4, Milange-Zambézia, Moçambique

January 22, 2013
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Ruvuma partnership and supporting congregations
Greetings to you from IRM Tumbine  Synod.(IRM hereinafter)
We are proud to partner with the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (DRC hereinafter) and the Ruvuma Support Partnership (Ruvuma hereinafter).  The DRC and Ruvuma played a critical role in the history of IRM and we all look forward to work together to make an impact for Christ on young people, communities and the world for many years to come. Our partnership  is  the heart of our ministry, together as partners in ministry, we'll stand with each other, believe in each other and support each other and we firmly believe miracles will become commonplace.

At the Synodical meeting in August 2012 a new executive was elected. The new executive is :  pastor Ualize as moderator, pastor Sousa as vice moderator, Pastor Zalimba as actuary and Pastor Cezar as secretary. We had a need as new executive to evaluate all our ministries and to clarify our vision, strategies and responsibilities. At the Synodical meeting in November 2012 every ministry was evaluated. Steps were taken to align their activities with the vision of the IRM.
In this regard the ending position of Pastor Danie Murray in the IRM is not the end of our relationship with the DRC in South Africa but it is a result of this evaluation. As we journeyed deeper with pastor Danie more than 20 years into different ministries we began to understand how to be church in the community. We came to realize that it wasn’t about increasing the size of our congregation but how we could be church in our everyday lives. We developed intentional habits that allowed us to open our hearts and minds to listen to God and let him lead us into His preferred and promised future. One of the most important habits we developed was the Dwelling in the Word. This allowed us to let God into our conversations, instead of trying to proceed on our own agenda.
We therefore have much appreciation for the work done by Pastor Danie Murray. In many ways we will build on it in future. The time has now come to take responsibility ourselves for the conferences and training that he has done within the IRM.  We will in future communicate directly with our supporting partners . Pastor Jose Matique was appointed liason officer in Pastor Danie’s place and he will see that good effective communication are done with our partners and supporting congregations. Specifically we have decided to continue with the vision conferences and will liaise with facilitators involved.
At Chiconono we are busy arranging a meeting in February with SIM and Aubi Banda and leaders from the local congregation to plan the ministry as well as the radio ministry.
Also as part of the evaluations we have restructured the Literacy ministry. This included some staff changes. We will shortly liaise with the supporting congregation in South Africa on these matters. We however want to stress the hugely positive influence of this ministry. This restructuring will keep this project on track.
The medical project are currently in a stage of consultation with partners in South Africa and the Netherlands. Hopefully this will be on track shortly.
The agricultural project are on track with minor administrative issues that will be talked through with the supporting group in South Africa.
Pastor Kobus Eksteen and his wife Nana are now appointed to serve in a youth/children ministry. We await eagerly their return from holiday to support them in this new venture.
We are still fully committed to the ministry amongst the Muslims in the Quionga area. We encourage the Thiarts to further community relations in the area. The IRM offer their help if needed.
The ministry at Namavi by Johan and Enna Dames is an encouragement to many Their positive involvement in the community serves as a witness to the work they do.
God takes good care of us, and like Paul, we don’t request your partnership with us because we just have to have your money. Sure, we could do more and go more places if we had more money, but that really isn’t the point. There is a benefit to you in partnership that we can’t take credit for, any more than we can take credit for the anointing flowing through us. It just happens. If you partner with us, you will have a share in everything we do. That’s the nature and purpose of partnership.

We are heading a time of even more uncertainty and change. We need each other even more .

We trust that you would gain confidence in our leadership. This will and must result in even better cooperation and unity in future.
May His name be Glorified

Pastor Ualize
On behalf of Tumbine Executve